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Zuckerberg opens up about Facebook's mobile strategy

September 22, 2010 |  4:11 pm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged in a half-hour interview this week with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington and staffer Jason Kincaid that his company is working on mobile phone software.

The idea is to have a mobile platform, not just a service or an application. As we reported, Facebook is modifying Google’s Android software.

“Our goal is to make it so that we can design the best integrations in the widest variety of phones,” Zuckerberg told TechCrunch. “We’re trying to build a social layer for everything. Basically we’re trying to make it so that every app everywhere can be social whether it’s on the Web, or mobile, or other devices.”

Zuckerberg insisted that Facebook is not trying to compete with Apple’s iPhone or Google’s Android phones. But said he could not predict how his company's mobile strategy would evolve in the future.

"I mean, who knows, 10 years down the road, maybe we’ll build our own operating system or something, but who knows. That is more history than we’ve had so far with the company, so it is really hard to predict that far out,” he said. “But for now, I think, everything is going to be shades of integration, rather than starting from the ground up and building a whole system."

Zuckerberg gave Arrington a rare interview after Arrington's blog post over the weekend fueled widespread speculation that Facebook was building a phone.

Zuckerberg did concede that Facebook has “probably” engaged in “exploratory” conversations about a Facebook-branded phone.

As for the rumors that got Arrington interested in the first place?

“If I knew who leaked it to you, I would’ve fired them already,” Zuckerberg joked.

-- Jessica Guynn

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